EDITOR’S NOTE: Since February of this year, First 5 LA has hosted a monthly Twitter chat to help connect parents in Los Angeles County with each other and our mission of giving kids the best start in life. While we have experts on hand to give context on various topics, some of the best learning happens when parents share with one another.
Regular #First5Chat attendee Amberlyn (@LynVazquez85) has a new baby girl – you may remember us highlighting her when she was still an expectant mom back in February – and so far, she says, nursing is going well.
However, as many parents have attested, breastfeeding during the first few days post delivery can be a challenge to learn without patience, guidance and support.
“Breastfeeding definitely takes patience!” tweeted Lori (@lorikeet8). “It was a struggle for me with latching, mastitis, pain.”
Amberlyn agreed: “I do know it can be frustrating and it’s definitely time consuming, but so worth it.”
“Breastfeeding definitely takes patience! It was a struggle for me with latching, mastitis, pain.” - Lori (@lorikeet8)
August is dedicated to championing the cause of breastfeeding, as it has been designated National Breastfeeding Month. At First 5 LA’s #First5Chat held on Twitter Tuesday, August 4, we welcomed guest host Breastfeed LA to share advice, answer questions and provide resources to support breastfeeding moms. Some of the topics discussed included solutions to common breastfeeding struggles like engorgement and proper positioning, how dads can support breastfeeding moms, and lactation rights.
Moms agreed that emotional support is a key component to a successful breastfeeding journey. Thankfully, programs like the First 5 LA-funded Welcome Baby program offer moms certified lactation educators to guide them toward breastfeeding success, while First 5 LA’s Baby-Friendly Hospital Project encourages Los Angeles County hospitals to change their policies and procedures to support breastfeeding mothers. This month’s Twitter chat featured Welcome Baby partners from LA Best Babies Network and Miller Children’s Hospital.
Amberlyn had good things to say about the program: “I’m in that program. They do weekly home visits! It’s a great program that all families should use if they can.”
Although California has the strongest legal protections for nursing mothers when at work, which includes paid family leave, too many people in Los Angeles are not taking advantage of these opportunities, according to Breastfeed LA. The “Let’s Make It Work” campaign for World Breastfeeding Week was meant to bring awareness to these issues and encourage moms to be their own advocates.
This month, Governor Jerry Brown signed a statement supporting women’s breastfeeding rights – a proclamation that Breastfeed LA advocated for as part of #LetsMakeItWork. The link was shared toward the end of the chat, capping off another successful discussion among parents and advocates on Twitter.
For a full list of breastfeeding resources and tips shared during our August #First5Chat, take a look at the Storify recap here.
Join us next month as we celebrate the arts in early education during our September #First5Chat. If you’d like to partner with us as a guest host for a Twitter Chat, please contact Violet Gonzalez ([email protected]).